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Top 5 Things People Rarely Pass Down, But Should

While you're enjoying retirement, think about your (intangible) legacy.

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Making a will or a living trust means confronting mortality, and that's something most of us prefer to avoid doing. Maybe that's why so many of us never get around to actually writing down our final wishes. It's an understandable lapse, but it should be avoided at all costs.

When people leave no legal plans for the disbursal of their estate, lawyers call this dying intestate. And that's very bad news for your descendants because it can result in years of probate court battles or, at the very least, bitter family squabbles about who gets what.

For your heirs, everything you leave behind may be suffused with meaning, and members of even the most tightly knit families can end up not speaking to each other after they duke it out over your favorite armchair. So, face the music: Go see a lawyer, and draw up a carefully considered plan for your estate.

But before you do, keep reading to find out what items you'll probably overlook.

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